Wallaces Farmer

Land values could level off with high interest rates

The 2022 land values have been higher than ever, but analysts think these prices could level off with the continually high interest rates.

Doug Hensley

November 15, 2022

4 Min Read
Combine in field during harvest
LAND VALUES: A quick harvest with above-expected yields has helped with 2022 profit, but high interest rates will likely lead to a leveling off of land values. Jennifer Carrico

The 2022 crop harvest in Iowa was one of the quickest and most efficient in recent memory. Near-ideal soybean cutting conditions in early October preceded a similarly cooperative weather-pattern for corn harvest. This allowed the majority of row crop farmers to easily conclude ’22 production operations before Election Day. Many producers shared that results for both corn and soybean yields were slightly above preharvest expectations, in my talks with them. The mostly above-expectation yields should translate into a very profitable year for Iowa agriculture.

As we head into the off-season, there are several land-related topics worth watching. First, the dry harvest weather was a gift for an efficient harvest, but much of Iowa is also now classified in some level of rating for drought conditions. From a very practical perspective, we need legitimate rain between now and spring to be well-positioned going into the 2023 crop year.

Second, the Iowa land market has enjoyed an incredible rise over the past 12 to 18 months. Strong commodity prices, large on-farm profits, very low interest rates and pent-up demand for land all aligned to run the market higher. But, with inflation now spiking in our general economy, uber-low interest rates are a thing of the past. I anticipate higher interest rates will begin to factor into land buying decisions more heavily in the coming months.

Third, as has been widely reported, costs for various 2023 production inputs are anywhere from 30% to 100% higher than they were a year ago for 2022 production, thereby squeezing margins for 2023 cash-flow budgets. Will elevated 2022 profits, and still-strong commodity prices for the ’23 crop, overcome the coming cost-price squeeze? All these topics are being widely discussed by prospective land buyers looking at possible fall and winter acquisitions, and each topic will ultimately influence the Iowa land market. For now, it appears to me that the land market is leveling out. This does not mean it is weak. Rather, it means the market is simply adjusting.

NORTHWEST
Dickinson County. About 119 acres northwest of Everly recently sold at public auction for $15,000 per acre. The farm consisted of about 114 tillable acres with a CSR2 (corn suitability rating) of 89.6 and equaled $175 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

NORTH CENTRAL
Hancock County. About 57 acres near Klemme recently sold at public auction for $11,800 per acre. The farm consisted of about 55 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 78.8 and equaled $155 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

NORTHEAST
Bremer County. About 95 acres south of Tripoli recently sold for $14,442 per acre. The farm consisted of about 92 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 96.1 and equaled $173 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

WEST CENTRAL
Calhoun County. About 114 acres north of Knierim recently sold at public auction for $14,000 per acre. The farm consisted of about 112 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 82.7 and equaled $172 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

CENTRAL
Marshall County. About 155 acres southwest of Beaman recently sold at public auction for $16,500 per acre. The farm consisted of about 148 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 94.7 and equaled $182 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

EAST CENTRAL
Cedar County. About 152 acres north of West Branch recently sold for $8,000 per acre. The farm consisted of about 102 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 50.6, with the balance of the farm being open pasture.

SOUTHWEST
Montgomery County. About 156 acres southeast of Stanton recently sold at public auction for $13,750 per acre. The farm consisted of about 150 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 87.3 and equaled $163 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

SOUTH CENTRAL
Wayne County. About 40 acres southeast of Cambria recently sold at public auction for $7,500 per acre. The farm consisted of about 35 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 74.9 and equaled $114 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

SOUTHEAST
Des Moines County. About 127 acres southeast of Morning Sun recently sold at online auction for $11,500 per acre. The farm consisted of about 119 tillable acres with a CSR2 of 80.8 and equaled $151 per CSR2 point on the tillable acres.

Hertz Real Estate Services compiled this list, but not all sales were handled by Hertz. Call Hertz at 515-382-1500 or 800-593-5263, or visit hertz.ag.

About the Author(s)

Doug Hensley

president, Hertz Real Estate Services

Hensley is president of Hertz Real Estate Services. The Hertz Farm Management Co. was started in 1946, and now provides a full spectrum of services that includes professional farm management, real estate sales, auctions, acquisitions and farm appraisals.

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